Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Crehan: Data Center Ethernet Switch Market to Hit $15 Billion by 2020

A confluence of faster data center Ethernet switch upgrades will propel the market to $15 billion by 2020, according to Crehan Research's latest Data Center Switch Long-Range Forecast Report. The firm projects that 100 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switching will ramp strongly by the second half of this year, and that 400GbE will experience robust growth in 2018. The firm also predicts the adoption next year of dedicated 25GbE switch ports by customers who prefer not using breakout cables on 100GbE switching to connect to 25GbE server and storage ports.

"While we expect the initial ramp in 100GbE and 400GbE data center switching to be driven by the largest hyper-scale cloud service providers, we also anticipate strong interest from other segments of the market, with subsequent increased adoption," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research.

The report further predicts that despite the upcoming growth in 25GbE, 100GbE and 400GbE, 10GbE will remain an important technology through 2020, and will likely comprise the majority of network connections in many enterprise data centers. "With so many different speeds, we are seeing more granular segmentation in the Ethernet switch market," Crehan said. "We seem to be moving away from the one-size-fits-all deployment model that once prevailed."

Dell Networking Disaggregates its OS from Hardware

As the next step in its Open Networking initiative launched two years ago, Dell Networking introduced its Operating System 10 (OS10), a fully-open, unmodified Linux distribution that will be offered as one of several options for purchasers of Dell data center switches. In addition to its own OS10 network operating system, Dell offers network OSes from its partners, including Big Switch, Cumulus and Pluribus.

The new Dell OS10 is designed to introduce new levels of software flexibility and programmability in large-scale data center environments. OS10 is comprised of a base module and various optional application modules. Some highlights:

OS10 Base Module – The OS10 Base Module is available for free and runs a fully-open, unmodified Linux distribution. Linux is one of the most widely-used operating systems and can provide a common language across multiple IT layers including networking, storage and compute. The OS10 Base Module can leverage the Linux community-based benefits which can help enhance its programmability, portability, and flexibility for the application layer above it.

Below it, the OS10 Base Module employs the Open Compute Project Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) that enables a common, programmer-friendly language between vendor network operating systems and the particular silicon residing on the physical switch. Today, SAI helps web-scale companies and cloud providers take advantage of the latest silicon innovation by enabling them to program the switches more granularly.

OS10 Application Modules – On top of the base module, OS10 can support traditional networking functions (L2/L3 protocols) from Dell as well as numerous third-party, native Linux, and open source applications such as IP, fabric and security services combined with management and automation tools. This allows customers to tailor IT operations for different use case and operational processes.

“Modern, software-defined, data centers require a fresh approach to operations – not just for the network, but across compute and storage elements as well,” said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager, Dell Networking and Enterprise Infrastructure. “OS10 gives customers a future-ready springboard to innovate their networks and data center infrastructure more quickly and consistently, affording customers greater efficiency and capability at scale.”

Dell Intros New Open Data Center Switches

Dell Networking introduced three new open switches for data centers and featuring support for the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) to allow for a zero-touch install of all pre-qualified operating systems, including Dell Networking OS9 and third party options.

Dell said the rollout reinforces its strategy to pursue open architectures in the new era of software-defined data centers.

"These advancements are another example of Dell helping our customers to future proof and accelerate the financial and performance rewards the software-defined data center promises," said Arpit Joshipura, vice president, product management and strategy, Dell Networking. "The new products announced today offer customers complete flexibility to take advantage of open networking environments and new computing models as well as the revenue streams these network infrastructures will allow."

The rollout includes:

Dell Networking Z9100-ON - a 100GbE fabric switch in a 1RU fixed form factor for aggregation and access layers. It and offers multi-rate switching (10/25/40/50/100GbE). The Z9100 is designed for cloud, HPC and Web 2.0 applications that require a range of options in switching rates in high-density environments and excels in Big Data analysis and where high performance, low latency requirements exist. The fabric switch offers up to seven times the density per RU versus a competing switch.1

Dell Networking S4048-ON - a low-latency 10/40GbE Top-of-Rack (ToR) switch designed for the software-defined data center. It offers advanced features supporting large hardware tables, VXLAN and expanding buffering. It is designed for Web and Cloud service providers with Linux and open source-heavy environments. The S4048 provides a low latency 10GbE switching in HPC and business sensitive deployments that require the highest bandwidth and low latency, while cutting in half the latency versus a competing switch.

Dell Networking S3048-ON - designed for enterprise and mid-market customers with an existing 1GbE installed base. It is Dell’s first entry into 1GbE open networking switching. The S3048 is a ToR equipped with next-generation 1GbE silicon, a complete OS9 feature set including VLT, OpenFlow, Open Automation, Cloud Stack integration with OpenStack, Microsoft, VMware, Docker and others, while offering up to half the power consumption and costs up to 50 percent less than the current generation of Dell 1GbE switches.

Dell today also announced IP Infusion, Inc. as a new ecosystem partner in support of its Open Networking initiative.

Plexxi Lands Investment from Google's Venture Arm

Plexxi disclosed a strategic investment from GV (formerly Google Ventures). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Plexxi said GV’s investment enables it to continue to scale its networking product offerings and company operations to meet the needs of the emerging cloud builder community and drive adoption of software-defined architecture in data centers.

“Plexxi takes an innovative approach to high performance networking infrastructure,” said Rich Miner, General Partner at GV. “Plexxi’s platform has evolved at a rapid pace, and the company’s networking infrastructure products give companies the tools they need to maintain large scale networks that are more agile and efficient.”

“GV invests in companies that have their eye on the future, offer disruptive innovation and drive market change,” said Rich Napolitano, CEO of Plexxi. “We are at the dawn of the next great era of IT, the Cloud Builder generation, and Plexxi has developed a transformative data center network solution that promises to become the standard for future public and private cloud agility. We are thrilled to have GV join our investor team and become a key partner in this huge market opportunity.”

Plexxi investors also include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Matrix Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.

  • Plexxi is headquartered in Nashua, N.H.

Plexxi Raises $35 Million for SDN

Plexxi, a start-up pioneering next-generation converged networking solutions, raised a $35 million round of financing .

Plexxi’s products – Plexxi Control and the Plexxi Switch – and market solutions create an optimized network that dynamically helps applications perform better.

The round was led by a new investor with participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Matrix Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners. This brings Plexxi’s total funding to $83 million.

“We are experiencing a generational shift to a new era of IT in which applications and data are rapidly increasing demand for a new agile and scale-out networking architecture,” said Rich Napolitano, CEO of Plexxi. “Plexxi represents a transformative converged networking and application-centric approach to traditional legacy networking. 2015 has been a record-breaking year for Plexxi as we gain a foothold in federal, financial services, education and service providers markets here in the United States and around the world.”

F5 Posts Q1 Revenue of $489.5 Million, up 6% YoY

F5 Networks reported Q1 2016 revenue of $489.5 million, reflecting 6 percent growth from $462.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. GAAP net income was $89.7 million ($1.28 per diluted share), compared to $89.1 million ($1.21 per diluted share) in the first quarter a year ago. Excluding the impact of stock-based compensation and amortization of purchased intangible assets, non-GAAP net income was $120.6 million ($1.73 per diluted share), compared to $114.2 million ($1.55 per diluted share) in the first quarter of last year.

“We continue to see growth in software sales, driven by strength in security modules and sales of our virtual editions,” said John McAdam, F5 president and chief executive officer. “Security remains a key driver of growth for the business, with million dollar plus security deals up year over year. In addition, our operating model continues to drive solid profitability and cash generation, with cash flow from operations at a record $204 million for the quarter."

“Over the medium to long term, we are confident the superior performance and breadth of functionality in our portfolio of hybrid solutions, including new BIG-IP appliances and VIPRION blades, as well as new security solutions and high performance versions of our software-only Virtual Editions, will spur the growth of product revenue in the second half of the fiscal year."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Telsta Launches SDN-based PEN Exchange & Marketplace

Telstra launched its new SDN-based PEN Exchange and PEN Marketplace -- two new enhancements to its global Software Defined Networking solution, enabling organisations to identify and connect their network circuits on-demand with other PEN customers. The two new enhancements were designed to satisfy customers’ growing needs for secure, high bandwidth on-demand, and built on the expansion of the Telstra PEN Platform to the optical layer across 26 PEN Points of Presence worldwide in 2015.

The new PEN Marketplace is an online portal that allows organisations to instantly order virtual network functions – such as firewalls and routers – on-demand and based on their preferred vendor.

“The launch of our new PEN Exchange is the natural next step in our SDN strategy and means we now have the unique capability to dynamically connect network circuits between PEN Exchange customers, linking different people and business sites easily and cost effectively. With provisioning time measured in minutes rather than months, PEN Exchange customers can also use a new application programming interface, which triggers additional capacity depending on their changing bandwidth needs,” stated Jim Clarke, Telstra’s Head of International Products and Pricing, Telstra.

 Telstra Extends its Global SDN into the Optical Layer
Telstra has extended its new global Software Defined Networking (SDN) Platform into the optical layer, enabling high-bandwidth provisioning up to 100G and automated fault restoration across its global Points of Presence (PoPs).

The announcement follows Telstra's recent acquisition of Pacnet, a provider of connectivity, managed services and data centre services to carriers, multinational corporations and governments in the Asia-Pacific region.  The Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN)an SDN-based service delivery platform with automated provisioning capabilities.

Telstra now operates 25 PEN Points of Presence across eight countries – including Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the US and the UK. Additional connectivity options into public Cloud services to bridge hybrid Cloud deployments are available too.

Jim Clarke, Telstra’s Director of Marketing, Product and Pricing – International, said the extension of SDN and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) capabilities into Layer 1 followed the announcement last month that Telstra had added nine Telstra PEN PoPs to Pacnet’s existing footprint of sixteen PoPs across Asia, creating a globally connected on-demand networking Platform.

“Extending our global PEN platform into the optical layer is the natural next step in our SDN strategy and by providing this infrastructure on demand, we’re able to significantly shorten the provisioning cycle times and better meet our customers’ growing high-bandwidth needs.

“This is an exciting milestone in Telstra’s SDN journey and by leveraging our high quality infrastructure assets and Pacnet’s leadership in early adoption of SDN technology, we will continue to innovate and deliver cost-efficient virtualised network resources to our customers,” Mr Clarke said.

“We believe it’s time for global networks to evolve. The applications of tomorrow require a different kind of network and this latest enhancement to the PEN Platform means we now have the unique capability to provide customers with on-demand provisioning of their network services up to 100G, whenever they want it and wherever they are based.

“Furthermore, Telstra plans to extend virtualisation to its suite of Managed Services offerings which means we can now, more than ever, deliver the choice and flexibility our customers require, in an age of bandwidth hungry applications, fuelled by distributed computing, big data and mobility,” Mr Clarke concluded.

In March 2015, Infinera announced that Pacnet, which operates submarine cable systems connecting 15 cities in the Asia-Pacific region, has deployed the new Infinera Open Transport Switch (OTS) software to extend virtualization into the optical layer of its network. Pacnet’s existing Intelligent Transport Network is based on the Infinera DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform.

Big Switch Secures $48.5 Million in Series C Funding

Big Switch Networks raised $48.5 million in a Series C funding round.

The company, which is based in Santa Clara, California, said it experienced more than 300% growth in 2015 with customers wins across the US, APAC and EMEA regions, and in verticals including tech, financial services, government, service providers, and higher education.  The company has two products and three use cases, which have played a critical part in its growth, including accelerated adoption with Enterprise and Carrier customers of both Big Monitoring Fabric, a next generation network monitoring fabric, as well as Big Cloud Fabric, the industry’s first data center fabric built using whitebox or britebox switches and SDN controller technology.

Big Switch also named former NetApp CEO, Dan Warmenhoven, as well as seasoned venture capitalist Gary Morgenthaler to its Board of Directors.

The new funding includes participation from both new and existing investors, including Morgenthaler Ventures, Silver Lake Waterman, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Accton, CID Group, MSD Capital, among others. This brings total funding to $94 million since the company was founded in 2010.

“I am pleased that our performance continues to earn the trust of our customers, partners, and investors, all of whom believe in our mission to disrupt the status quo of networking,” said Douglas Murray, CEO, Big Switch Networks. “Dan Warmenhoven’s knowledge and operational experience scaling NetApp from hyper-growth startup through maturity will be invaluable as Big Switch continues to scale and as we introduce our core products to new customers in more markets around the world. I am also thrilled to have Gary Morgenthaler join the board to share his invaluable experience as one of Silicon Valley’s pre-eminent investors.”

Arista Updates its Extensible OS for Hybrid Clouds and Containers

Arista Networks announced a major upgrade to its open and programmable Arista EOS (Extensible Operating System) based on three building blocks: Infrastructure, Hybrid Cloud and Container Support.

Arista EOS, which features a state-driven, publish-subscribe-notify architecture built for cloud networking, now introduces NetDB, a network-wide state repository that increases network scalability, agent efficiency, and resilience.

Some highlights:

Infrastructure - NetDB expands the network roles for Arista’s spine platforms, enabling EOS to now support in excess of 1 million routes and 100,000 tunnels for increased cloud scale. NetDB also provides the ability to aggregate the network state of all EOS devices to a common point through the CloudVision platform and, from there, stream network-wide telemetry data to improve network operations visibility and historical analytics.

Hybrid Cloud - Arista EOS features support for workload migration between private and public workloads and CloudVision management for hybrid cloud solutions. By delivering appropriate EOS Tracer tools for cloud-bursting, enterprise customers can now seamlessly execute their hybrid cloud roadmap. This bridges the gap between private and public clouds.

Container Support - Arista EOS extends its virtualization support by adding both the ability to run Docker containers on EOS, as well as improved physical and virtual visibility with Container Tracer. Container support in EOS offers customers the flexibility to load container-based applications directly onto the Arista EOS platform. Complementing visibility tools for bare metal and hypervisor designs, Container Tracer delivers advanced monitoring capabilities for emerging container-based applications.

“The infrastructure underlying a network operating system is the foundation for delivering a flexible and resilient solution to customers. Arista EOS, originally built on a state-sharing database, has proven stable and scalable in the largest cloud networking environments. Today’s NetDB introduction represents our continued investment in Arista EOS, as it evolves to meet the changing needs of the cloud,” said Ken Duda, CTO and Senior Vice President of Software Engineering for Arista.;postID=9105821876244975384

Hibernia Trims Latency on Transatlantic Route with Innovative Backhaul

Hibernia Networks said it has further reduced latency on its new Hibernia Express transatlantic cable route connecting New York to London by means of newly acquired backhaul infrastructure.

Specifically, the company said that to further reduce latency beyond the already industry leading performance of sub 58.95ms on the high density traffic London to New York route, it has procured alternative backhaul routes in the United Kingdom as part of its phase one deployment. The low latency services delivered over Hibernia Express are relied upon by customers for mission critical applications across numerous segments, including financial firms, content providers, and web-centric companies. Hibernia Express latency on the subsea cable connecting North America and UK is RFCS tested at 44.92ms.

“At Hibernia Networks we are unwavering in our commitment to provide the industry leading network performance that our most demanding customers entrust us to deliver,” states Omar Altaji, CCO of Hibernia Networks. “Customers rely on our low latency, high capacity connectivity solutions to ensure their ability to stay competitive in today’s networked world.”

  • Hibernia Express utilizes a 6-fiber-pair submarine cable, with a portion of the fibers optimized for lowest latency and a portion optimized for 100X100 Gpbs design capacity.  Hibernia Express follows the most direct route between the UK and North America.

Riverbed Acquires Ocedo for SD-WAN

Riverbed announced the acquisition of Ocedo, a leading provider of software-defined networking and SD-WAN (software-defined wide-area-network) solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ocedo, which is based in Karlsruhe, Germany, developed an advanced software-defined branch office networking solution, with a portfolio of products that include secure gateways, wireless access points and switches, and an integrated cloud management system that enables zero-touch provisioning and centralized control of remote devices and network services.

Riverbed said the acquisition furthers its strategy to deliver next-generation, software-defined networking solutions that provide superior application performance and business agility for today’s hybrid enterprises. Ocedo fuels Riverbed’s Project Tiger initiative, announced in Fall 2015, in which Riverbed plans to bring to market a new suite of application-centric SD-WAN solutions that will eliminate the need for traditional branch routers, provides cloud-based zero-touch provisioning & management, and will be based on a new software operating platform that enables agile service-chaining for Riverbed-native and 3rd-party services and applications. Riverbed plans to launch an initial SD-WAN solution in Q1 2016 to complement and expand the Riverbed Application Performance Platform.

“Ocedo is a compelling and strategic acquisition for Riverbed. Their innovative software-defined networking solutions perfectly complement our own strategic investments in R&D, expanding our position to aggressively compete in the emerging markets for software-defined networks and SD-WAN, bringing disruption to the multi-billion dollar branch router market,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As the industry goes through one of the largest transformations in a decade, with cloud and hybrid IT environments requiring a different approach to networking, Riverbed is well positioned to help businesses reap the benefits of newer and superior network architectures that are application-centric and software-defined.”

Ocedo Enters Enterprise SDN Equipment Market

Ocedo GmbH, a start-up based in Karlsruhe, Germany, announced its entry into the enterprise SDN market.

Ocedo is developing a range of cloud managed and SDN enabled network equipment to connect wired, wireless and wide-area networks. The Ocedo System enables IT departments and MSPs to roll-out entire networks remotely from the cloud, track network activity in a “single pane of glass”, and provision network configuration changes in real time.

“SDN is ready to move beyond the data center and provide innovation in distributed enterprise networks,” said Jan Hichert, Ocedo CEO. “Ocedo’s focus is on making networking radically simpler for today’s agile, growing organizations.”

Ocedo was started by the founders of Astaro, a network security vendor that over the course of a decade engineered networks for thousands of organization around the globe, and was acquired by Sophos in 2011.

ZTE Posts Record Revenue & Profit

ZTE reported full-year 2015 revenue of RMB 100.8 billion (approx US$15.33 billion), 23.8% higher than in 2014, and the first time annual revenue has exceeded RMB 100 billion.

Net profit attributable to shareholders of the listed company will be RMB 3.78 billion (US$574 million) in 2015, compared with RMB 2.63 billion a year earlier, according to preliminary unaudited results published by ZTE today, based on accounting standards of the People’s Republic of China. This represents an annual increase of 43.5%.

The company attributed its growth to higher sales of 4G LTE network solutions internationally, in addition to China. The company also posted increased sales of optical network solutions as demand for broadband networks strengthens.

The growth in annual revenue was also driven by increased sales of high-end routers in overseas markets, while ZTE posted higher revenue from sales of Enterprise ICT solutions including Smart City and Data Center solutions to companies and government departments. In addition, ZTE also boosted sales of 4G smartphones outside China, as well as terminal products for homes.

At the end of 2015, ZTE’s gearing ratio improved to 63.9%, compared to 75.25% a year earlier, reflecting the stronger profitability of the company’s operations and better capital management. The company strengthened cash flow management, with cash received for the sales of goods and rendering of services exceeding RMB 105 billion, achieving substantial growth in cash inflows from operating activities and net cash flows from operating activities.

IronScales Raises Seed Funding for IPS with Phishing Mitigation

IronScales, a start-up based in Israel, announced $1.5 million in seed funding for its development of an intrusion prevention system with an automated phishing-mitigation response.

IronScales said its crowd-wisdom-based phishing-mitigation solution helps protect enterprises from cyber-crimes whereby criminals attempt to deceive employees into revealing sensitive information such as usernames and passwords so they can then install spyware, remote-access Trojan horse attacks or ransomware. The IronScales solution is currently in use by dozens of customers in the financial sector, as well as security and telecom companies.

The $1.5 million round was led by RDSeed, an investment arm of Rafael Development Corporation (RDC).

"Phishing is an insidious threat to enterprises, but the existing solutions targeting the problem simply did not go far enough,” said Eyal Benishti, IronScales CEO. “That’s why we created IronScales, not only to raise awareness of phishing attacks but to then empower employees to actually block them. When workers understand how to spot phishing attacks, they become powerful assets in helping protect their enterprises from attack.”

Polaris Wireless Prevails in Patent Dispute Against TruePosition

Polaris Wireless, which provides high-accuracy, software-based wireless location solutions, prevailed in a patent dispute filed by TruePosition.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C. affirmed Polaris’ wins at the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) and District Court. All asserted claims were found to be invalid. The complaint was brought by TruePosition in 2012.

GENBAND Prevails in Patent Dispute with Metaswitch

GENBAND prevailed in a patent dispute with Metaswitch Networks.  A jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has found that Metaswitch infringed on seven GENBAND patents that cover a range of VoIP technology used in session border controllers and integrated softswitches.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Blueprint: 2016 Predictions -- Big Guns and Long Tails

by Michael Murphy, CTO for North America, Nokia Networks

In 2014, I suggested that 2015 would be an inflection point due to the start of serious 5G activity and the start of cloud based deployments , which together had the potential to fundamentally change the telecom industry. So what really happened and what’s up for 2016?


5G did of course progress throughout the year, but perhaps the biggest news came in September. At the CTIA event, Verizon threw down the gauntlet (as did Nokia), and challenged the industry to deliver pre-standard solutions in 2017 just ahead of Korea’s 2018 Olympics and Japan’s 2020 Olympics. With that, we now have the big three (USA, Korea, Japan) having established lines in the sand. The 3GPP R13 meeting held in September also kicked off discussions on 5G with a preliminary view of timelines and study items, which was followed by the WRC15 meeting in November that looked at cmWave and mmWave candidates for WRC19. With those, we can say 5G work has started, formally.

And how about commercial cloud deployments?  It’s true they did start in 2015; however, this was typically for single network functions like new EPC or IMS installations. What’s coming in 2016 and 2017 will be more of the same, but with the result being multi-function cloud networks; and that’s really where the long sought after agility, OPEX and CAPEX gains will start to come. The reason is that clouds don’t really bring substantive change without scale. However, even with these early steps, the change to a horizontal purchasing model has started, where operators buy hardware, stacks, and VNFs, independently. That’s big.

Time will tell if these predicted inflection points will result in truly fundamental change going forward, but I do think so.


Looking forward into 2016, we can see these two big guns continuing, two new ones starting, and a few long tails. These will be very interesting developments indeed.

Regarding 5G, with 3GPP work started, and lines in the sand established, the race is now on to develop pre-standard systems that can be applied to limited use cases. Proof of Concept systems that exist today will evolve, mature, and begin early field trials in 2016. The challenges are immense. Chipsets, CPEs, antennas, wireless backhaul, frequency selection, propagation and penetration considerations, are just a small list of hurdles ahead. All of this will happen in parallel to standards being developed. It’s a race, and an ultra-marathon one at that.

Cloud computing will continue to progress towards the new normal by 2017, and there are parts that are predictable and parts that are still being defined. With the realization of increasingly dense, complex, and stringent transport requirements, there’s an invigorating discussion underway between several large operators and vendors on how to best use SDN, and employ strict control / user plane separation to both simplify and automate transport connectivity. We expect some large architectural changes to come out of those discussions, with baby steps showing up in 2016.

Are there any new big guns? Yes. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a wonderful buzzword that encapsulates more or less everything, and for that reason is hard to get a grip on at times. More practically though, in the wireless 3GPP world, it has come down to a single standard that is hotly debated, referred to as narrowband IoT, or NB-IoT, a 200KHz solution. It has LTE and clean slate alternatives being considered, with closure on the UL/DL selections expected at the next R13 RAN meeting in December. There is also a wider band LTE-M solution with a 1.4MHz carrier. Together, they could be loosely called high and low end solutions for cellular IoT. They will provide a foundation for the development of low cost chipsets that will enable the cellular industry to better compete with the dominant, lower cost, somewhat proprietary systems that exist today. It’s what many have been waiting for. That’s a big gun.

Finally, 3.5GHz. It’s hard to imagine how a frequency used by the U.S. Department of Defense could impact all of telecom, maybe forever - but it will. With the FCC’s announcement of the spectrum sharing rules for 3.5GHz, a paradigm has been set that may be applied to all future auctions. It’s a grand experiment with one of far reaching consequences. The associated WINN Forum also recently produced a technical report on the SAS to user (AP) interface. Combined, these set the stage for a new way of using spectrum that includes a general access option, permitting new operators to enter the telecom market in a cost effective way. In short, the 3.5GHz rules both change how spectrum is used and who can use it. It’s most certainly a big gun in the U.S., and one that could spill into other global regulatory regions. We expect products to start showing up in 2016.

So four big guns. And now for the long tails. In this case, I use the term to mean increments on top of larger bases, but this by no means implies they will be small or unprofitable, in fact, quite the opposite.

Virtual RAN is the first, and we refer to it as our Radio Cloud Architecture. As we virtualize the core, the obvious next step has always been to virtualize the radio access network. While more challenging due to real-time processing demands and latency constraints, it is doable and will happen. Through most of 2015, vendors investigated the best architectural solutions to implement practical virtual RAN solutions. For Nokia, that phase has completed and we are now firmly on a path of execution. Proof of Concept systems that have been around since 2014 will now evolve towards commercial systems in 2016. Note the timing. If we imagine that Radio Cloud systems start in 2016, and the first 5G systems shortly thereafter, would it not make sense to combine the two? Or putting it another way, will all 5G RANs be virtualized? Excellent question and one we are all actively considering.
As for other long tails, a couple of other technologies have silently been worked over the last couple of years that will start to see their pay days in 2016.

First, LTE-U (or LAA) and LWA, which are, put simply, the coupling of LTE and unlicensed spectrum to provide a better user experience. Also hotly debated due to perceived impacts to the Wi-Fi industry, products will come to fruition in 2016. The impact to users will be gains in terms of downlink throughput, and to operators the ability to take advantage of the large 2.4GHz and 5GHz free spectrum blocks. That in turn may be one tool of many to help support new data offers, like unlimited streaming of content that looks like it has just landed in the U.S. But we shouldn’t limit this long tail to just LTE coupling to Wi-Fi. Multiple Service Operators (MSOs) such as cable operators also have an interest in offering unlicensed voice and data solutions. With improvements in VoWi-Fi and authentication simplifications that come from HotSpot 2.0, MSO infringement into telecom territory will continue.

Secondly, how about those Small Cells? There’s been talk for years about adding tens of thousands of Small Cells to existing macro networks, but never really happened to the levels expected. That may be about to change in 2016. The reason is that products are getting better (with things like dual-band, Carrier Aggregation and LTE-U being the norm now), and more attention is being been put on the total solution. With a greater focus on permitting, wireless backhaul, different power levels, pole heights, and fiber and power access, once prohibitive cost levels are starting to drop. In addition, there’s a growing recognition that Small Cells are a highly effective and complementary part of one’s toolkit for designing networks from the start, and not only as an after-thought. It’s hard to say if we are at a global tipping point yet, but certainly, we envision a huge upswing in 2016 for both outdoor and indoor systems.

The Package

With four big guns and three long tails, 2016 will prove to be a very interesting time indeed for the industry, where new technologies will start to dominate the historically somewhat flat and predictable patterns of the past. Whenever there is change and disruption, there are winners and losers, on both the vendor and operator sides. With the mergers and acquisitions and partnering setups we’ve seen over the last few months, it’s clear that everyone is getting ready for the war by getting access to the right weapons. Who will win and who will lose may not be fully determined in 2016, but big guns and long tails are things to watch.

About the Author

Michael Murphy is CTO for North America, Nokia Networks. Prior to joining Nokia, Mike was the former head of WCDMA development for Nortel Networks. He has a master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo in Canada. He has lived in Turkey, China, Korea, France, Canada, Japan, Thailand, and is now based in Irving, Texas.

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Ericsson to Acquire FYI Television for Content Metadata

Ericsson agreed to acquire FYI Television, which provides entertainment metadata and rich media content to broadcasters. Financial terms were not disclosed.

FYI Television, which is based in Grand Prairie, Texas, accumulates and distributes TV entertainment content and linear scheduling data from over 9,000 TV networks daily, aggregating the information into customized formats for various digital, media, content, analytics and print clients for use on their connected devices such as tablets, phones, desktops, internet portals and gaming consoles. FYI's databases contains more than 2.8 million cast and crew related entities, 1.5 million images directly relating to specific program titles, celebrities and stations, including logos, seasonal key art, movie posters and iconic stills.

FYI Television's employees will join Business Line Broadcast & Media Services, part of Ericsson's Business Unit Global Services, with the acquisition expected to close in Q1 2016.

"As the TV industry evolves and viewing behavior changes, we believe that high-quality, rich metadata will be a key component for a personalized TV experience. Combined with our capabilities in TV platforms and content discovery, we will be able to help our customers to improve the video experience and identify new revenue opportunities. FYI Television's expertise and customer base in the US is a great complementary fit for Ericsson and will be an integral part of our growth strategy. It will strengthen our position as one of the leading providers of media services in the world," stated Magnus Mandersson, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Unit Global Services at Ericsson.

Ericsson noted that it is already the largest provider of content discovery services in Europe, delivering metadata, images, search and recommendations on more than 3,000 TV channels in over 30 languages. Every year, Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services distributes more than 2.7 million hours of programming in more than 90 languages for more than 500 TV channels worldwide. In addition, we provide more than 200,000 hours of captioning each year - 80,000 hours of which is live.

  • Ericsson recently established a US broadcast and media services hub based in Atlanta, Georgia. The company currently provides closed captioning services to broadcasters around the world from this hub, with plans to roll out video description services over the coming months.

Telstra Tests Infinera's Advanced Coherent Toolkit on 9,000km Cable

Telstra has validated Infinera's Advanced Coherent Toolkit (ACT) for super-channels.

This new technology will cover the Telstra Endeavour subsea cable stretching 9,000 kilometers between Sydney, Australia and Oahu, Hawaii and extract the maximum capacity from subsea and long haul terrestrial cable systems carrying super-channels -- whether for new large area fibers or existing cables.

In trials on a range of next-generation super-channel coherent modulation technologies conducted late last year, two unique super-channel based capabilities were successfully demonstrated in the trial -- Nyquist subcarriers and Soft Decision Forward Error Correction (SD-FEC) gain sharing.

Infinera said the trial validated the benefit of Nyquist subcarriers that have been shown in other studies to offer around a 20 percent increase in reach compared to single carrier transmission. In addition, the trial validated SD-FEC gain sharing in which carriers with the highest performance can be paired with carriers with lower Optical Signal to Noise Ratio (OSNR) to improve performance.

Other capabilities demonstrated as part of this trial include a new Matrix Enhanced Phase Shift Keying (ME-PSK) modulation technique that handily surpasses Binary Phase Shift Key (BPSK) reach performance; and the new, high-gain SD-FEC algorithm.

"The comprehensive modulation and compensation techniques in our Advanced Coherent Toolkit enable individual carriers and subcarriers in the super-channel to maximize the overall reach and capacity of the customer's fiber," said Scott Jackson, VP of Infinera's Subsea Business Group. "For example, leveraging these techniques allows cables that previously could only support BPSK to move to higher modulation formats in the future, or support a mix of formats across carriers and subcarriers, for increased fiber capacity and a better return on the asset. This next generation of coherent technology has the potential to dramatically extend the useful life for existing cable systems while also improving the performance of new cables."

PCCW Global Signs Onto Aqua Comm's Transatlantic Cable

PCCW Global, the international operating division of Hong Kong's HKT, plans to deliver transatlantic capacity on Aqua Comms’ America Europe Connect (AEConnect) subsea fiber optic cable system, which will enable PCCW Global to obtain additional route diversity.

With more than 52 Tbps of available capacity, the AEConnect system utilizes innovative optical technologies, including the latest technology of 130 x 100 Gbps per fiber pair.

Mr. Greg Varisco, Chief Operations Officer of Aqua Comms, said, “Aqua Comms is pleased that Aqua Comms_final logo_RGBPCCW Global has selected AEConnect, our next-generation fiber optic cable system, to provide low latency and high capacity connectivity for its transatlantic backbone network between its New York and London Points of Presence. Offering diversity between two of its major international hubs, this highly secure and technologically advanced transatlantic system is also future-proofed against increased capacity requirements, a demand that only AEConnect, and not legacy systems, could satisfy.”

AlohaNAP Offers Private Connections to Big Cloud Providers

The AlohaNAP data center in Kapolei, Hawaii is now offering Level 3 IP and Fiber Services as well as their Cloud Connect service to securely connect their data center infrastructure to over 30 global cloud services, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, with faster speeds and greater reliability.

"Level 3 Cloud Connect Platform allows AlohaNAP to provide our enterprise customers a secure private connection to the leading cloud providers in the world," states Robert DeVita, Chief Sales Officer at AlohaNAP. "Whether organizations are connecting to a public cloud based in the mainland United States or extending a hybrid cloud to servers hosted at AlohaNAP, Cloud Connect ensures critical data and applications are always online."

The state of the art AlohaNAP data center in Kapolei opened in early 2015. The facility offers carrier-neutral connections to both global and local fiber providers, and satellite connectivity to over 40 different satellites.

Qualcomm Seeks Server Partner in China's Guizhou Province

Qualcomm signed a strategic cooperation agreement with officials from the People’s Government of Guizhou Province and unveiled a joint venture –  the Guizhou Huaxintong Semi-Conductor Technology Co., which will focus on the design, development and sale of advanced server chipset technology in China.

The joint venture, with initial registered capital of RMB 1.85 billion (approx. $280 million USD), will be 55 percent owned by the Guizhou provincial government’s investment arm and 45 percent owned by a subsidiary of Qualcomm.

In addition, Qualcomm also will establish an investment company in Guizhou that will serve as a vehicle for future investments in China. The overarching agreement establishes a long-term commitment between the two parties to work closely together to identify and pursue business opportunities in the province.

“This server technology joint venture is a win-win scenario for Qualcomm and our Guizhou partner and will yield mutual benefits for both sides as we together pursue a very large data center opportunity in China,” said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager, Qualcomm Datacenter Group, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

First Day of Combined Nokia + ALU

On January 15, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent marked their first day of combined operations.

"Nokia has gone through a fundamental transformation," said Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors. "Over 99% of our more than 100 000 employees did not carry a Nokia badge just three short years ago. Our earnings, market cap and growth opportunities have multiplied. We have a powerful guiding vision of the Programmable World, an extremely capable management team and a strong ambition to innovate and lead. We move forward with excitement, confidence and an ability to continue to challenge the status quo."

Nokia President and CEO, Rajeev Suri, continued: "Today's pace of technological change, driven by the transition to 5G, the Internet of Things and the cloud, is demanding extraordinary new capabilities from the network. Combining with Alcatel-Lucent comes at just the right time: we can align our product and technology roadmaps for the next generation of network technology at the outset, allowing us to take full advantage of the coming opportunities and better serve customers including communication service providers, governments, internet players and large enterprises. Nokia has the global scale, innovation muscle and end-to-end portfolio to lead this change, and ultimately expand the human possibilities of the connected world."

Nokia is an innovation powerhouse with some 40 000 R&D professionals, a combined pro forma R&D spend in 2014 of EUR 4.2 billion and a world-leading intellectual property portfolio. Nokia is combining its own proud R&D heritage with the unrivalled history of Bell Labs, which has been awarded 8 Nobel prizes over its lifetime, together creating around 31 000 patent families. The combined company also has a strong financial base from which to grow and invest. On a 2014 pro forma basis, the combined company would have had net sales of EUR 24.7 billion and a non-IFRS operating profit of EUR 2.3 billion; as of June 30, 2015, pro forma combined net cash stood at EUR 8.1 billion.